My $175 workbench

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Project by NBeener posted 01-12-2011 02:20 AM 24502 views 16 times favorited 75 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My $175 workbench
My $175 workbench No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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WOO-HOO !! It’s done !!

I think the installation of the vise may have taken as long as the entire rest of the build did.

Odd, huh ?

According to the instructions, I still need to plane a 4 degree slant in the outside face of the vise, to ensure clamping power is at the top of the faces. Not sure how big a deal this is, but … it won’t change the appearance, anyway :-)

I don’t think I’ll be putting any finish on it—at least not now. Kind of like the look of the raw wood.


.....The front apron is 3/4” QSWO.
.....The vise jaw faces are Hard Maple.
.....The bench top and base are BORG Doug Fir (2×8s)
.....M&T joinery on the base. Nuts and lag bolts hold the front apron in, to prevent racking, and allow future tightening.
.....The funny looking guy in the Ridgid do-rag … is me ;-)

I probably came in at nearly $200, including the Lee Valley hardware in the pics, but … that’s likely because I bought a BIG board of the Maple, so … factor in only the bit I used, and … probably WAS $175—a steal !

I don’t have the vise faces perfectly flush to the top … yet, but will. I started taking them down with my one and only hand plane—my first real shot at planing.

Turns out … I LIKE planing ! It was very cool seeing the curly-q’s falling off the plane ! The face vise will be very useful for that, I’m sure.


In this one, you can see the “support collets” that required the 2-5/16” counter-bore. The Forstner bit—of course—worked perfectly :-)

-- -- Neil

75 comments so far

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 3121 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 02:25 AM

Nice bunch and vice setup man! I need to put one of those on my router table.

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3289 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 02:25 AM

Wauuuu Niel,
You have done it! And it’s so cool.
Made a wonderful workbench, and I can see on your wonderful smile that you are as pleased as my eyes.
Congratulations, hope it will be your best mate for years and years.
Thank you for sharing this with us (the blog).
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 3990 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 02:35 AM

Good job. Now you get to scuff it up with projects.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3541 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 02:35 AM

that’s what happens
when you keep after a project

you wind up
in a better place

i guess you are going to sell
all the power tools now

and buy hand planes ? lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3380 days

#5 posted 01-12-2011 02:41 AM

Awesome job. Looks like the perfect size. I’m looking forward to the day when I can use a bench with bench dogs. Which makes me think…are you going to add dogs to the vise and perpendicular to it on the bench? I haven’t been following this build closely…did you mention what plane you used? I’m just beginning to appreciate hand planes.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1570 posts in 3765 days

#6 posted 01-12-2011 02:42 AM

Hey its done! now lets get to cluttering that bench up with some tools. :) Great job Neil, the look on your face is pure satisfaction and it should be!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Sonny's profile


311 posts in 4053 days

#7 posted 01-12-2011 03:02 AM

looks good man!

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3210 days

#8 posted 01-12-2011 03:15 AM

Congrats Neil! Wishing you many years of great service from your new bench.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3383 days

#9 posted 01-12-2011 03:18 AM

Very nice bench! I like the natural look as well but it will become stained before long. Great job!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View jack1's profile


2117 posts in 4227 days

#10 posted 01-12-2011 03:25 AM

Nice!!!!! Maybe consider just danish oil or some such thing to help preserve?

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Ben 's profile


163 posts in 3564 days

#11 posted 01-12-2011 03:45 AM

Sweet!! You did a great job. Very nice.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4200 posts in 3775 days

#12 posted 01-12-2011 03:52 AM

That came out great Neil.
You can sure be proud of that bench and I bet it gives you years and years of reliable service.
Time very well spent !

View Nselimis's profile


13 posts in 3454 days

#13 posted 01-12-2011 04:01 AM

Hi Neil

What plans did you follow ?


View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3503 days

#14 posted 01-12-2011 04:04 AM

ahhhhh this is fantastic…the very pleased look of satisfaction and a wonderful looking bench…great vice..its sure looks sturdy , congrats on a fine job …cant wait for you to find the joy of working on it,,,and the use of a vice comes in so handy…ive got to do the deed of boring some holes into mine…thats a toughie maybe if i close my eyes and just look away…lol… did a great job…bob

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3080 days

#15 posted 01-12-2011 04:09 AM

How’s that no racking vise work? I thought about using it, but decided to go with the smaller.

Nice bench!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

showing 1 through 15 of 75 comments

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